This Month's Picks

The Secret (CD)

Alan Parsons
For his new project The Secret , producer/artist Alan Parsons recruited such heavy hitters as Lou Gramm, Jason Mraz, Steve Hackett, and drummer Vincent Colaiuta. Parsons proves that his sense of melody remains strong in these emotional tracks that contain hints of the prog rock sound associated with The Alan Parsons Project. Mraz successfully lends his flexible voice to the '80s soft rock-flavored “Miracle” and Lou Gramm adds a bit of vocal grit to the dramatic, earnest ballad “Sometimes.” More
Genre: Rock

Stay Around (CD)

J.J. Cale
Curated by JJ Cale's widow Christine Lakeland Cale and manager Mike Kappus, Stay Around features 15 previously unreleased songs from the late, influential singer/songwriter. The title track rolls along at an agreeably sleepy pace, while the lightly chugging guitar of “Chasing You” is uplifting and sunny. Tracks like these embody that Tulsa Sound Cale helped to create and Lakeland Cale's attempts to stay true to his own mixes and notes for these recordings lend them an authenticity that will surely delight fans. More
Genre: Rock

Invitation (CD)

Heather Woods Broderick
Heather Woods Broderick’s latest release, Invitation , is atmospheric, melancholy, and as familiar as a half-remembered dream. The singer-songwriter named the album as a nod to a quote from American author Thomas Moore about how “to be a person means to be faced every minute with the decision to live or die; to accept the invitations for yet more vitality or to decline them out of fear or lethargy.” It’s a pretty apt synopsis of the album’s lyrical concerns and pervasive mood — shadowy and strange yet ultimately uplifting. Fans of past tour mates Horse Feathers and Sharon Van Etten won’t want to sleep on the intriguing Ms. Woods Broderick’s Invitation . More
Genre: Rock

Bolden [OST] (CD)

Wynton Marsalis
Bolden , the new biopic about New Orleans jazz king Charles “Buddy” Bolden, was not only produced by current icon Wynton Marsalis, but he also performed the music that takes center stage in the film. The soundtrack is a feast of that pioneering Big Easy brass sound, reviving many ragtime numbers that Bolden made famous. Delivered here by Marsalis with a wellspring of talent that includes Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon and more, the music vividly captures the sound of a turbulent era from which a brand new genre exploded – forever changing American popular music. More
Genre: Jazz, Soundtracks

Moonlight (CD)

The third studio album by husband & wife team Johnnyswim (Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano) ups the stakes with the help of Grammy-winning producer Malay. The duo's slick combination of soul, rock, and pop is centered around their complementary voices, weaving together effectively, for example, on the edgy, percussive single “Bridges.” “Flowers” is a smooth ballad helmed by Sudano with notes of twangy folk, but the tracks are frequently uplifted by energizing beats such as in “The Last Time,” which features Michael McDonald, and “Souvenir” which morphs into a dynamic stomping chorus. More
Genre: Rock

Glass ([2019] (BLU)

M. Night Shyamalan brings together two of his standout original films— Unbreakable and Split — in this explosive comic book thriller. Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), finds David Dunn (Bruce Willis) pursuing Kevin Wendell Crumb's superhuman figure, The Beast (James McAvoy), in a series of escalating encounters. Price, armed with secrets critical to both men, emerges as a shadowy orchestrator. More

By Blood (CD)

Shovels & Rope
Shovels & Rope's new albumis (fittingly) a family affair. Written and recorded in the husband/wife indie folk duo’s backyard recording studio, By Blood is alternatively jubilant and introspective. Expect heart-tugging harmonies, sweetly nostalgic throwback vibes, and top-tier songwriting. Recommended for fans of rootsy Americana created through a punk rock lens. More
Genre: Rock, Folk

Ventura (CD)

Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak’s star continues to rise on his excellent new LP, Ventura . Joined by a whole galaxy of top tier talent, .Paak delivers a non-stop mix of soulful, funky future hits. Along for the ride are Andre 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway, Jazmine Sullivan, Sonyae Elise, Brandy, and the late Nate Dogg. Executive produced by the legendary Dr. Dre, this is an album you already know is reaching future classic status. Essential listening for true soul and hip-hop heads. More
Genre: Soul

Only You Can See It (CD)

Emily Reo
Emily Reo makes an attention-grabbing entry into the field of smart, shimmering electropop with Only You Can See It . Lush and vibrant, the album is jam-packed with glorious washes of sound, candy sweet vocals, and glittering synths. Reo has been crafting dreamy indie music for a decade; with its addictive melodies and pop-leaning sensibilities, it seems likely Only You Can See It is the LP that will catapult her into the spotlight. Don’t sleep on this gorgeous, golden electro extravaganza. More
Genre: Rock

The Medicine Show (CD)

Melissa Etheridge
The indomitable Melissa Etheridge returns with her first album of originals since 2014. Her rich voice and guitar chops are as potent as ever, and emotions run strong on this new collection of songs – not the least in “Last Hello,” a poignant tribute to the survivors of the Parkland school shooting. “Wild And Lonely” is a powerful single, with strong dynamics and an anthemic chorus. “Faded by Design” is folkier but with a hint of outlaw country. The album's themes touch on healing, renewal, and reckoning with troubled times in the U.S., including the opioid crisis. More
Genre: Rock